Hawking was looking for a unified theory and Woit thinks the idea is pretty much discredited now: “We now live in an environment where the idea that there may be a deeper, more unified theory has become completely discredited, through the efforts of many, with Hawking playing an unfortunate part.”
Peter Woit on Hawking’s 2010 The Grand Design, co-written with Leonard Mlodinow: ” I wrote about this book in some detail here. Put bluntly, it was an atrocious rehash of the worst nonsense about M-theory and the string theory landscape, with an argument for atheism thrown in to get more public attention. This is the sort of thing that has done a huge amount of damage to both the public understanding of fundamental physics, and even to the field itself.”
He doesn’t seem to get the fact that string theory was a religious movement that was bound to end badly. The most distressing victim is science. But then that was well before the war on math, wasn’t it?
Ah yes, the problem of dead-endedness that Sabine Hossenfelder often writes about. As does Columbia mathematician Peter Woit, on the subject of string theory. But surely much of the nonsense around string theory and the multiverse is in part due to a practical failure—the inability to find even a single particle of dark matter or similar evidence for dark energy.
Sheldon: … it isn’t just HEP theory, it is large swathes of all the sciences. They have painted themselves into a sterile, but formerly well-funded “consensus” corner, and are discovering that the younger generation (and the NYT) is quite flippant on their prospects for survival.
Possibly, but maybe it’s inherently fuzzy. Meanwhile, an update on Adam Becker’s attack on Inference Review as an ID-friendly rag; Peter Woit and Sabine Hossenfelder weigh in.
“ infinitely far from having any connection to conventional science”? Wow.
Peter Woit doesn’t want to give up but he makes it clear that the options are narrow and expensive. Perhaps we are entering a period of decline when cosmology is about the multiverse rather than the Higgs boson.
From Columbia mathematician Peter Woit at Not Even Wrong: New Scientist today has a feature article headlined How to think about… The multiverse The idea of an infinite multitude of universes is forced on us by physics. It starts off quoting Sean Carroll: “One of the most common misconceptions is that the multiverse is a Read More…